WordPress: Building Themes from Scratch Using Underscores
Illustration by John Hersey

WordPress: Building Themes from Scratch Using Underscores

with Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Video: Creating custom post format templates

Post formats are a relatively new addition And then I'll jump back to the front page.
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  1. 10m 55s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. What to know before you start this course
      2m 40s
    3. How this course and the lesson files work
      3m 12s
    4. Introducing Simone: A preview of the final project
      3m 59s
  2. 21m 28s
    1. Installing and running WordPress on your computer
      3m 53s
    2. Getting and installing Underscores
      4m 11s
    3. Installing WordPress Theme Unit Test data
      4m 18s
    4. Installing the Developer plugin
      2m 58s
    5. Installing and setting up NetBeans or another IDE
      6m 8s
  3. 16m 15s
    1. Designing for mobile, content, and style
      4m 52s
    2. How do WordPress themes work?
      4m 48s
    3. Understanding the WordPress template hierarchy
      2m 19s
    4. Underscores: An overview
      4m 16s
  4. 37m 5s
    1. Setting up style.css
      4m 47s
    2. Configuring baseline settings and functions
      6m 6s
    3. Enabling custom fonts and font icons
      5m 44s
    4. Applying global styles
      5m 11s
    5. Styling basic layout components
      6m 19s
    6. Making the site layout responsive
      8m 58s
  5. 23m 18s
    1. Styling the default header
      6m 25s
    2. Hiding the site title and tagline
      5m 32s
    3. Adding an optional header image function
      5m 23s
    4. Placing the header image behind the site title
      5m 58s
  6. 40m 55s
    1. Setting up menus
      3m 12s
    2. Styling the menu
      7m 42s
    3. Using Superfish for accessible menus
      8m 0s
    4. Making the menu responsive
      7m 3s
    5. Creating a custom social media menu
      5m 51s
    6. Styling the menu with icons from Font Awesome
      9m 7s
  7. 18m 9s
    1. Adding the search form
      6m 27s
    2. Adding the search icon
      6m 55s
    3. Adding show/hide functionality to the search form with jQuery
      4m 47s
  8. 33m 20s
    1. Adding a widgetized area to the footer
      7m 10s
    2. Using the Monster widget plugin to test all widgets
      2m 11s
    3. Styling the footer
      3m 6s
    4. General widget styling
      5m 33s
    5. Adding custom styles to specific widgets
      7m 34s
    6. Using Masonry to make footer widgets responsive
      7m 46s
  9. 54m 49s
    1. Changing the Single Post Template content structure
      5m 54s
    2. Changing the output of meta elements
      7m 2s
    3. Styling the Single Post Template
      7m 57s
    4. Making post meta responsive
      6m 21s
    5. Styling blockquotes
      5m 39s
    6. Creating pull quotes and pull images
      5m 1s
    7. Working with image captions
      4m 27s
    8. Working with image galleries
      4m 57s
    9. Single-post navigation
      7m 31s
  10. 30m 23s
    1. Working with the comments template
      8m 42s
    2. Using Gravatars in comments
      2m 42s
    3. Styling comments
      7m 26s
    4. Highlighting post author comments
      3m 36s
    5. Styling the comment form and messages
      7m 57s
  11. 18m 43s
    1. How do featured images (post thumbnails) work?
      2m 57s
    2. Defining featured image sizes
      3m 30s
    3. Generating new featured images with a plugin
      1m 46s
    4. Adding featured images to a template
      5m 7s
    5. Styling the featured image
      5m 23s
  12. 1h 2m
    1. The index template hierarchy
      2m 21s
    2. Customizing and styling index templates
      10m 10s
    3. Displaying excerpts or full content on index pages
      3m 6s
    4. Adding a custom Read More link
      3m 48s
    5. Adding featured images
      4m 0s
    6. Creating custom pagination navigation
      6m 4s
    7. Highlighting Sticky Posts
      2m 55s
    8. Creating custom post format templates
      5m 30s
    9. Highlighting the most recent post in the index template
      7m 22s
    10. Embracing modular design
      2m 29s
    11. Working with archive.php
      5m 54s
    12. Customizing the search results and the 404 template
      8m 28s
  13. 9m 7s
    1. Styling pages
      3m 4s
    2. Creating custom page templates
      6m 3s
  14. 4m 30s
    1. Adding editor styles to match front-end styles
      4m 30s
  15. 2m 20s
    1. Further learning
      2m 20s

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WordPress: Building Themes from Scratch With Underscores
6h 23m Advanced Jun 11, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Ready for your next WordPress challenge? Learn how to build more complex custom themes using the _s (aka Underscores) starter theme. Morten Rand-Hendriksen takes you from basic layout and customization to enabling advanced responsive design and accessibility features. He reinforces the basics lessons with DRY (don't repeat yourself) development practices and a structured approach that will help you build WordPress themes that meet modern standards. Plus, he'll explore core concepts like understanding the WordPress template hierarchy, creating functions, adding custom JavaScript, applying styles, and more.

Topics include:
  • Installing WordPress, Underscores, plugins, and NetBeans
  • Designing for mobile, content, and style
  • Setting up the basic theme
  • Building a custom header
  • Designing responsive, accessible menus
  • Adding a custom search form
  • Using and styling widgets
  • Adjusting the Single Post Template
  • Working with comments, featured images, index templates, and static pages
  • Adding editor styles to match front-end styles
WordPress underscores
Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Creating custom post format templates

Post formats are a relatively new addition to the WordPress ecosystem and they're not fully defined yet which is why I am only touching on them briefly in this course. The idea of post formats is that the author should be able to define what type of content a specific post contains, regular, image, gallery, video, audio, quote, etc. And the theme should change its display to accommodate this type of content. However, the actual definition of how this content should be displayed is currently vague and hard to nail down.

If you go to the Post Formats page on the WordPress codex and you read about the supported formats, you'll see here we have a list of formats but when you read the description of each of the formats, they're very unclear and it's not easy to understand exactly how those formats are supposed to be displayed. The result of this is that the implementation of post formats is wildly different from theme to theme and it's extremely inconsistent for people who are using the different themes. So, if you're a site owner and you use one theme with post formats it may display your content in a certain way you like and then when you switch to a different theme, the post formats are displayed in a completely different way, and you have to go back and edit your content.

For this reason, I'm really reluctant to use post formats for anything other than the original post format that was created, and that's the aside. So the aside is typically styled without a title and just displays as a status, much like a Facebook status. And the aside was actually the reason why post formats were created. Because the founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, liked to add asides to his blog, so they made an aside post format and then they just started adding additional ones.

So in my theme, I only have support for the asides post format. You'll remember in functions.php, towards the very top we have the definition add_theme_support for post-formats and in the array, I've only set it to aside. Now I'm going to change one of my posts to an aside so that we can see what currently happens. So I'll go and edit this Hello world post and on the right hand side here in the editor, I'm going to change the format from Standard to Aside and update the post. And then I'll jump back to the front page.

So now when you scroll down you'll see that my post no longer displays its title, but if we inspect the code, you'll see the entry title is still there, it's just that inside the style sheet, there's a rule that targets, specifically, the asides and hides the entry title. But I want to do something a bit more advanced. I want to create a custom template just for the asides. And in that template, I want to display first, the post content itself, and then the meta content and the edit book. No continue reading link and no hidden title.

If you go and look at index.php again, and you scroll down and look inside the loop, you will remember that index.php calls for content and then get post format. So that means, if I create a new content template, that's called content aside, that template will automatically be used for the asides. So I'm going to go and grab content.php. And re-save it as content-aside.php. And then I can make my changes in here. So here I'm going to go inside index box and I'll remove the post thumbnail because we don't need that.

Then I'll leave the sticky, in case you want to stick the post format. I'm going to remove the title because we don't need that. And I'm going to take all this entry meta content and cut it out, and place it in the footer instead. And in the footer I'm also going to remove the read more link. Finally, I'm going to display the full contents. Here I'll just say the content instead. And I'll save this template file. And now, when I reload my front page again, you'll see that the post, with the post format aside, is displaying with a new template.

Now all I have to do is change the styles for this particular post, ever so slightly, so that we bump the content a little further down and bump the meta content a little further down too so that we align this properly with the white box. In the code snippets, you'll find the style for that. It's really simple. It's just one selector here. So, I can go to my style sheet and go to the table of contents and here you see 10.2 is asides. So I go to 10.2, and here I'm going to remove the existing one and then just apply my new rule which just says format-aside entry-content and then it sets the margin-top to 1em.

Save style.css, reload my template. And now the aside has a completely custom template that's styled differently from the rest. The same exact techniques you saw here, can be used to change the display of any of the post formats. Now, the idea here is that you're only going to display them differently in the index pages. But you can choose to also display them differently in individual single post pages. Just remember that for post formats you only have the predefined formats to work with. Aside, gallery, link, image, quote, status, video, audio and chat.

And if you're going to apply post formats you need to go to the codex page and read these descriptions and try to figure out exactly how you're going to display them so that the user gets a consistent experience if she chooses to switch from your theme to another theme.

There are currently no FAQs about WordPress: Building Themes from Scratch Using Underscores.

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